Is your institution conducting interviews at the 124th annual meeting this January? The forms for reserving tables or private rooms at the Job Center are now available online. Space in the Job Center is available on a first come, first served basis until November 15, 2009.
Claire Potter over at Tenured Radical recently offered an interesting critique of conference interviews as a practice, and suggests substituting telephone interviews as an alternative. While that may be necessary as an economic expedient for the moment, I wonder whether it is really the best long-term solution. Yes, conference interviews can be a miserable and emotionally draining experience for all involved, but would the alternative really work for the large pool of applicants coming onto the market each year? I suspect not.
At the Job Center at this year’s annual meeting in New York City, many applicants (and, to be honest, search committees) were worried about how recent economic news was going to affect the history job market. The final numbers from the Job Center, detailed below, tend to confirm these concerns.
As Robert B. Townsend reported in the January 2009 issue, job advertising in Perspectives on History declined 15 percent in fall 2008, and many departments are concerned that fiscal difficulties on the state level will result in the freezing of funds for new hires.
Less than a month from now, the 2009 AHA annual meeting will open in New York, and the City that Never Sleeps will be flooded with historians talking about their latest research, networking, catching up with old friends, and of course, looking for jobs.
The Job Center this annual meeting will be located in the Hilton New York. The free interview tables, where most institutions will be conducting interviews, will be located in the Hilton’s Rhinelander Gallery, and the official paid Job Center interview rooms will also be in the Hilton.
It’s November already, which means the AHA’s 123rd Annual Meeting is just a few short months away. To help you prepare, here are a few quick reminders and annual meeting resources:
Job Center Reservations
Search committees who would like to reserve space for job interviews at the annual meeting need to do so by November 14. Reservation forms (in Rich Text Format) for the 2009 Job Center are available now. Job Center tables are free. Job Center rooms cost $125 for each half day or $200 for a full day.
With all the recent attention being paid to the hiring process (see, for example, the Sterling Fluharty and Claire Potter articles linked in the last “What We’re Reading,” or this article from Friday’s Inside Higher Ed, we thought it would be appropriate to remind readers of the AHA’s recommendations for the hiring process.
Pertinent to the hiring discussion is Section 7 of the AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct, where the AHA promotes “fairness and due process in all decisions involving the appointment, promotion, and working conditions of historians.” The following four paragraphs spell out what that means:
Fairness begins with recruitment.
This week’s “What We’re Reading” starts off with the news that Microsoft is shutting down its Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects, after digitizing over 750,000 books. And speaking of the digital age, David Pogue writes about copyright issues and e-Publishing in an article for the New York Times. On the online resources front we link to EDSITEment’s new feature on “The Presidents,” where they pair up with PBS to examine recent presidencies. Then, read about the new DiRT wiki, get advice for your job interview at the AHA annual meeting, learn about the “crowdsourcing” of history, and read a summary of the recent Jefferson Lecture featuring John Updike.
While the 2008 AHA Annual Meeting is still fresh in our minds, now is a good time to take a look at some preliminary interview numbers from the Job Register. This year, the AHA was informed of 261 active searches in Washington, D.C., down from 283 searches last year in Atlanta and 311 from the 2006 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. With the number of available jobs going up this year, possible explanations for the decline in known searches include schools finalizing their candidate lists before the annual meeting, or holding interviews in the more far-flung hotels in the annual meeting bloc (such as the Embassy Suites and the Hilton Washington) or other unofficial locations, and never informing the Job Register of their location.